I stumbled into the Paper Tiger after taking an uber from a tribute show at the Korova. My vision is a little blurry, I’m not sure if from the three vodka waters or my contacts being three weeks past the recommended wear time. I see familiar faces everywhere as we cram into the jam room. The humidity is killer, but we power through it. He would do it for us, shoot he has done it for us. He’s been our biggest fan, hyped us up on Twitter, shown up, and been the best type of friend to each and every one of us.
The first time I saw Wayne Holtz play a show, I entered as a supportive friend and left as a fan. I’ve spent thousands of words trying to describe the type of music he makes and haven’t been able to really capture his sound. Every time I think I’ve figured it out, he reinvents himself all over again. Wayne is one of a kind and San Antonio is going to miss him.
This past weekend, Wayne moved to Los Angeles. After becoming the type of person who can’t walk down the strip without running into twenty people who know him, he’s set his sights on California. He spent the last week as a San Antonio resident hosting his final karaoke nights and one last show at Faust. I fought off sleep to check out his last show. Even showing up to work half asleep the next day, I didn’t regret a thing.
Like all shows at Faust, the show was intimate – no stage, no lighting everyone on the same level. Wayne and his music partner Bobby start off in the corner eye to eye with everybody. Everyone gathers around the bar, some even sitting criss-cross apple sauce and we all take in his last performance as a San Antonian. At one point a dog finds its way into the performance area. Wayne proceeds to sing his heart out to the dog. It’s what Wayne is all about.
Aside from being overwhelmingly talented, Wayne has a heart of gold. Anybody who has had the pleasure of being friends with Wayne knows that he’d give his shirt off his back for them. Wayne is simultaneously sassy and overwhelmingly polite that people can’t help but want to be around him. This all translates to his performance.
I know this isn’t the last time we’ll see Wayne play a show, shoot the next time he comes through, he might be playing at bigger venues, but it was a nice way for all of us to show him how much we appreciate him and are going to miss him. I’ve seen Wayne perform more times than I remember, but this one felt just as important as the first time I saw him. He maintained the same energy through every performance no matter how many people were in the crowd. No matter what future lies for Wayne, this night was a reminder that Wayne will always be the Wayne we know and love whether it’s here or anywhere else.